Sunday, January 6, 2008

Big Ten Bloggers Power Rankings

The Big Ten blogger community has conspired to put together Power Rankings for the Big Ten season. All of us will give our rankings at the beginning of each week (I'll try to do this on Sunday nights). Then, Tom at Gopher Nation will compile all of the rankings and unveil a Big Ten Bloggers power rankings.

So far, The Hoosier Report has their rankings up here. And Hawkeye State at Black Heart Gold Pants combines presidential primary politics and Big Ten Basketball in his well done rankings here.

1) Michigan State 13-1 (1-0)
While the Gophers gave Michigan State all they wanted Saturday night, the Spartans definitely impressed. Drew Neitzel and Goran Suton struggled. But Raymar Morgan demonstrated why he might be the best player in the conference. And freshman point guard Kaylin Lucas was very impressive in how own right. He hit from the outside and helped the Spartans push the ball on the fast break and run the half court offense. The Spartans are 10 to 12 deep, and right now get the number one spot.

2) Indiana 12-1 (1-0)
At some point the Hoosiers could overtake the Spartans. But to date, MSU's non-conference resume gives them the edge. Wins for the Spartans against BYU, Texas and North Carolina State trump wins for the Hoosiers against teams like Kentucky.

3) Wisconsin 12-2 (2-0)
After watching the Badgers this weekend hold off a somewhat feisty Iowa team this past weekend I walked away very impressed. Brian Butch is everything Gopher fans wish Spencer Tollackson could be. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Bo Ryan has the Badgers atop the conference at season's end. If it weren't for a very deep Spartans team I'd bet on it.

4) Purdue 10-4 (1-0)
I'm not sure how long the Baby Boilers will stay in this position. They looked very streaky in their conference opening win against Michigan. But at this point I'm not ready to drop them from where I had them picked last week when I put out my Big Ten predictions.

5) Ohio State 11-3 (2-0)
Led by Jamar Butler and Kosta Koufos the Buckeyes are 2-0 in conference play. They host Iowa and then travel to Purdue this week. Two more wins and they'll climb up a spot.

6) Minnesota 10-3 (0-1)
If the Gophers continue to play like they did at the Breslin Center, the Gophers have a real possibility of being the #4 team in the conference. But Tubby Smith's team needs to take care of business this week against Northwestern at home and at an upstart Penn State team. While the Gophers close loss at MSU was impressive, they'll need much more out of senior Dan Coleman if they are to be a top team in the conference.

7) Penn State 10-4 (2-0)
Two road wins to begin conference play is nothing to scoff at. And that's exactly what the Nittany Lions have accomplished, with an 11 point win at Northwestern and a four point win at Illinois. Geary Claxton and Penn State have a week to prepare for Minnesota when the Gophers travel to Penn State on Saturday.

8) Illinois 8-7 (0-2)
The Illini have lost two home games to two middle-of-the-road Big Ten teams in Penn State and Ohio State. Shaun Pruitt is doing what he can for Illinois, but recent recruiting woes for Bruce Weber's team has put Illinois in a likely multi-year rebuilding project.

9) Iowa 7-8 (0-2)
The Hawkeyes hold the 9-spot ahead of Michigan and Northwesern because in their two Big Ten games, Todd Lickliter's team has shown fight. They lost by three at home against Indiana and played with Wisconsin in Madison for most of the game Saturday.

10) Michigan 4-10 (0-2)

11) Northwestern 5-6 (0-2)
The Gophers should be able to handle Northwestern by double-digitis on Wednesday.


alex said...

After watching Purdue/Michigan, I'm not sure how you can have Purdue at #4 still, but past that I'll agree with these rankings. It'll be interesting to see if the Gophers play like they did against MSU through the Big 10 schedule. I'm not a believer (always pessimistic, what can I say?), but it'd be great to see!

PJS said...

You're probably right on Purdue. I like their youngsters, and their potential. But they defintely have a tendency to play up or down to the competition.

Friend Of Tubby said...

Gophers 4/5/6 range. Boilers, too.

PJS said...

I just want to say that after tonight's performance by Purdue in East Lansing I feel somewhat vindicated in my placement of the Boilers!

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